Rationale The pathobiology of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in children is poorly understood; investigation has been limited by lack of universally applied diagnostic criteria and reliable biomarkers for this condition. Objectives We evaluated the clinical pulmonary infection score (CPIS) in diagnosing VAP and prospectively characterized the relationship between surfactant protein-D (SP-D) metabolism and VAP. Methods Children admitted to an Egyptian PICU requiring intubation were screened for the absence of primary pulmonary pathology. Thirty-nine children underwent two evaluations: during the first 36 hr following intubation and after 4 days of mechanical ventilation. During both, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was obtained for culture and SP-D assay. CPIS was computed during the second evaluation. Results Optimum performance of the CPIS against BALF culture occurred at a cutoff value of 6, (ROC AUC of 0.89 ± 0.05). Children who developed VAP had significantly higher SP-D levels, both preceding (129.9 ± 33.5 ng/ml at the 1st BAL)-and following positive BALF culture (249.5 ± 51.2 ng/ml at the 2nd BAL), compared to children whose BALF remained sterile (62.6 ± 18.1 ng/ml and 64.9 ± 9.4 ng/ml; P < 0.001). This increase in SP-D levels was most evident in children infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared to children with Klebsiella pneumonia or S. aureus. Conclusions The CPIS performed well against BALF culture. We observed a bacterial species-specific difference in SP-D levels in children who developed VAP; this change preceded detection of infection by CPIS or BALF culture.
- clinical pulmonary infection score
- surfactant protein-D